Editor: La Vinia Delois Jennings
Editor info: Professor of English
Publication Date: June 2009
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Synopsis: Featuring new critical essays by scholars from Europe, South America, and the United States, this book presents a wide-ranging look at how whiteness — defined in terms of race or ethnicity — forms a category toward which people strive in order to gain power and privilege. Collectively these pieces treat global spaces whose nation building and identity formation have turned on biological and genealogical exigencies to whiten themselves. Drawing upon racialized, national practices implemented prior to and during the twentieth century, each of the essays enlists literature or performance to reflect the sociopolitical imperatives that secured whiteness in the respective locations they study. They range from examinations of whiteness in the literature of Appalachia and contemporary Argentinean poetry to an analysis of performances memorializing the colonial experience in Italy and an exploration into the white rap music of Eminem and contemporary multiracial passing.